Russians in Georgia


Russians in Georgia

There is a substantial Russian population in Georgia. For many years, Georgia was a part of the Russian Empire, and later the Soviet Union with Russia, and as the two countries share a border, many Russians emigrated to live in the Northern regions of Georgia, notably Abkhazia and South Ossetia. However, the population has decreased in recent years following the collapse of the Soviet Union, due to a number of factors such as economic hardship and ethnic tensions.

History

Ethnic Russians appeared in Georgia in significant numbers after Georgia became part of the Russian Empire in 1803 (Kartli and Kakheti) - 1878 (Ajara). There were 79082 and 19273 people who indicated Russian as their mother language in Tiflis Governorate [http://demoscope.ru/weekly/ssp/rus_lan_97.php?reg=104] and Kutais Governorate [http://demoscope.ru/weekly/ssp/rus_lan_97.php?reg=101] respectively. Dukhobors have to be mentioned as well.

Census data shows that the Russian population had risen from 83 to the high-point of 319,000 between 1926 and 1959 and then began to decline slowly to 266,000 in 1989. Migration and lower birth rates were the main reasons of this decline.

Many Russians left Georgia during the 1990s due to economic hardships, ethnic tensions and other reasons.

Abkhazia

A great part of its indigenous population emigrated to Turkey after the Muhajirism, with the result that the Russian Empire started a programme of repopulation, with many ethnicities being settled there. Russians were among them (source - [http://ippk.edu.mhost.ru/elibrary/elibrary/uro/v10/a10_14.htm ТРАПШ Н.А. РУССКАЯ ОБЩИНА АБХАЗИИ: ИСТОРИЯ И СОВРЕМЕННОСТЬ. СОБРАНИЕ ТРУДОВ "ЮЖНОРОССИЙСКОЕ ОБОЗРЕНИЕ", # 10, 2002] ) and made up 2% of the 100,000 population of Abkhazia by 1897. Here Russian population also rose between 1926 and 1970 and declined thereafter. Post-independence decline was particularly steep due to the War in Abkhazia.

outh Ossetia

References

Censuses

* [http://www.ethno-kavkaz.narod.ru/rngeorgia.html Georgia]
* [http://www.ethno-kavkaz.narod.ru/rnsossetia.html South Ossetia]
* [http://www.ethno-kavkaz.narod.ru/rnabkhazia.html Abkhazia]

ee also

*Demographics of Georgia
*Russian diaspora
*Georgia-Russia relations


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